Street Art Is Always Vandalism

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Good marketing will increase the popularity of the artist where they are able to sell their work. Making the artist get the recognition that they want and to be known as a street artist for their work. It is like a cycle, (Fig. 20) the artist paints a picture, the audience sees it, then it gets uploaded onto a social media platform, the artist gets recognition then it starts all over again.

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The public suggested that if you are decreasing the value of the property then it is vandalism. If you are increasing the value, then they would class it as art as there is no harm. It is only vandalism if you get caught or get arrested but if you get away with it, then it is art? Would you call it pretty vandalism? There is good graffiti and bad graffiti. Such as words that are unpleasant to see becomes graffiti. Those are the bad side of street art, people visiting the city wouldn’t want to see those types of language or images that create a bad memory of the city. Street art is a visual aspect that is most likely to be on a wall for most of its lifetime. It’s an age where you can find your house value increased overnight if for any reason Banksy has drawn on your wall. I think if you look at the different generations, there seem to be different views on whether it is offensive or art. Does it depend if people think it is worth money or not? A graffiti tag would be considered vandalism but a message would be considered art?

Whether they prefer a clean city with absolutely no street art or a city that has street art, I think it depends on the type of city they are in. Street art holds more value in urban cities compared to old cities or towns as it has a different type of attraction which also should be persevered such as churches. Another reply was that they prefer “A city that has its boundaries, for example, you have the street art in Birmingham Custard Factory which has an amazing atmosphere, but in areas that are business and corporate dominates a clean look which is more appropriate, as street art would look out of place and unprofessional”. Street art often makes a place colorful and adds character to dull areas but must be done in a strategic way so it doesn’t look messy. Around about fifty per cent felt that street art should be legal as it is a better way for artists to get people to see their talent. But only if they have permission or given dedicated spaces to make both sides happy.

Conclusion

What if street art would be seen by fewer people? It would be less likely to attract potential buyers, investors and collectors. Can you imagine a city without an unpredictable variety of illegal street art? Walking through Birmingham is about the random as well as the curated street art that is just there, for us to pleasurably view without having to pay. Having a commissioned mural is not the same as having a piece painted by a graffiti artist. The street-ness of a commissioned work keeps the property owner happy as they will choose what will go on the walls rather than the piece be chosen by the artist. I do think street art makes a city attractive. Without any street art, it will be plain and too simple, it brings minority and colour into the city where we can actually appreciate the real talent that can be found simply anywhere in a city. Street art makes the imperfect part of a city such as cracked surfaces part of a city again with the use of little paint and creativity. It has become more accessible for everyone to see; it is a sign that a lot more creative things are going to happen. Comparing figure 21 and figure 22 you can instantly see which one is more appealing, the first image is full of life, colours and creativity whereas the second image looks simple and careless, unsure why it is there. Yes, you are still going to get some parts of a city vandalised but you can’t have one without the other, as it is part of the urban culture that the city is part of. 

07 July 2022

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